Episode 22: How to Have the Best Midlife Crisis Ever! with Stephen Perrine

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Dr. Lori Buckley interviews Stephen Perrine, Editor-in-Chief of Best Life Magazine. In this entertaining and informative episode Stephen tells us causes of men’s angst and suggests how to live the "Best Life" possible, even during the difficult times that we often refer to as "midlife crisis". Stephen answers the question that we all want to know...why is Keith Richards still alive and why should we strive to be more like him. You don’t need to be experiencing a "midlife crisis" to benefit from and enjoy this episode. More details on this episode go to http://www.personallifemedia.com/podcasts/minds-of-men/episode022-stephen-perrine-best-midlife-crisis-ever.html

Transcript

How to Have the Best Midlife Crisis Ever!

Announcer:  This program is intended for mature audiences only.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Welcome, you are listening to “On the Minds of Men”. I’m your host Dr. Lori Buckley, and I am here with Stephen Perrine, and he is currently the editor in chief of Best Life magazine. And for men out there who don’t know about this magazine, it’s really a fabulous magazine. Something that has information on everything from finances to relationships to sex, and really everything that you could possibly want to know about being a successful happy man.

[music break]

Stephen Perrine: You know men definitely get the idea – there was always a phrase that I heard when my wife is happy, I’m happy. When my wife is not happy, I’m not happy. And I think that’s very much true.

[break]

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah so men – if they get divorced, which typically they’re not the ones initiating it, at least for the most part – they have the midlife crisis. And the women – they initiate divorce because, here we go, they’re not happy. So there’s something to that.

[break]

Stephen Perrine: And that sense of adventure, that sense of challenging ourselves, of showing off, of being ever challenged, is an inherent part of manhood.

[break]

Stephen Perrine: The quintessential idea of the man in the midlife crisis is either he goes out and buys a sports car and gets a young girlfriend, or he goes to Tahiti to become a painter.

[break]

Stephen Perrine: You know it can be very frightening and especially for men, the idea of fatherhood and family man can be very difficult because you do feel as though you are sacrificing the adventure of life for the stability of family.

[break]

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: [xx], I’m leaving the party, I get my balls, I pick up some other guy’s balls. I get home, they don’t fit. I’ve got to call him up, “I think I have your balls!” So that’s always difficult.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] Unless you might want to keep them.

[music break]

Dr. Lori Buckley: Living the best life you can. What do you think Steve?

Stephen Perrine: I’d say being a happy successful man. A lot of men are interested in that. Who doesn’t want your best life? It’s like “Ah best life, I don’t want to live my best life.”

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah it’s good that your magazine isn’t called “OK Life”.

Stephen Perrine: “OK Life”, you know, “Average Life”.

Dr. Lori Buckley: “So so life”. [laughing] Right we don’t want that.

Stephen Perrine: And remember it’s “Best Life”, not “Best Behavior”, so that’s…

Dr. Lori Buckley: Ah, oh and I think that leads into what we’re going to be talking about today. But let me tell you a little bit more about Steve. Steve is also the former creative director of “Men’s Health” magazine, and he has been writing about, reporting on, and studying men for over 20 years. So he is the perfect person to be talking to on this show, I’m so happy to have him here, thank you for being here.

Stephen Perrine: Thank you for having me.

Dr. Lori Buckley: And really talk about, really about men. And I think that that’s something that’s important. Something that I think I’ve missed the boat on a little bit. I want to apologize right now men, I don’t think I have done my full job and served you properly because I have been talking a lot about what you can do to please women and what women want. I know that’s information you want. But I also know – and I know this because I’ve heard from a listener who, well he likes the show – made a really good point. And he said he wants to hear more about what men want. How do men get their needs met? Enough of men pleasing their women – which is important because for men to get what they want, they probably need to make their women happy.

But I want to talk about men specifically, how do men live their best life, and get the things that they want – whether it’s in their life in general, or in their relationships, or in bed. So Steve, what do you have to say about that?

Stephen Perrine: Well it’s interesting you bring up the idea first of all that too much of the focus is on men pleasing women, and I think first of all men definitely get the idea – there was always a phrase that I heard when my wife is happy, I’m happy. When my wife is not happy, I’m not happy. And I think that’s very much true because when our partners are happy they let us know. And when they’re not happy they really let us know.

And that’s all great but we don’t do the same in return. When we’re not happy I don’t think that we necessarily are able to put our fingers on why. So I think a lot of men do sort of live, as the saying goes, lives of quiet desperation. There’s a longing that we haven’t quite put our finger on and we can’t quite speak its name because we don’t quite understand what it is. But I think it’s what triggers the idea of the midlife crisis in men. You never hear about women having midlife crises.

Dr. Lori Buckley: That’s true.

Stephen Perrine: And while today 75% of divorces are initiated by women, and they happen more and more in the age range that we think of as the midlife crisis range – that area from late 30s to early 50s. We never say that a woman divorces her man because she’s having a midlife crisis. It seems to be only men have midlife crises.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah so men – if they get divorced, which typically they’re not the ones initiating it, at least for the most part – they have the midlife crisis. And the women – they initiate divorce because, here we go, they’re not happy. So there’s something to that. But when the focus becomes on making the woman happy then where does the man go? And let’s talk about that because I think it fits in with midlife crisis. Maybe midlife crisis happens because men aren’t quote unquote “happy”.

Stephen Perrine: Possibly or – midlife crisis I think happens for men because when we’re little, we are filled with adventure. The reason that our insurance rates are so much higher in cars when we’re younger is because we tend to crack them up a lot, and it’s because we tend to drive a little bit crazier. It’s the same reason more boys wind up in the hospital with broken arms, because we’re the ones tying the towel around our necks and jumping off the stairwell going “I’m Superman”.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Mmm-hmmm.

Stephen Perrine: And that sense of adventure, that sense of challenging ourselves, of showing off, of being ever challenged, is an inherent part of manhood, from our early age. And it’s encouraged too…

Dr. Lori Buckley: Right.

Stephen Perrine: …by sports, and by our own fathers, and by the things that we’re encouraged to do as men. Well, when we reach a certain age and we marry, and we have children, we don’t often have those opportunities for adventure. So where our childhoods and our orientation is toward the idea of expanding and challenging ourselves, and pushing our limits, and testing boundaries – as we get older we’re no longer able to do that, and I think it’s a source of great unspoken angst for men. They don’t understand why they’re not as happy as they should be, and especially successful men.

Dr. Lori Buckley: There’s so many things, I just want to back up a little bit because you covered a lot of different topics. One thing that you said is “because they’re not able to do that when they get married and have children”. If they were able to do it in some form that would work, it happens mostly with successful men – why is that? Is it because successful men are working so hard?

Stephen Perrine: Well I think with successful men, there’s a different kind of angst. There’s a feeling of “all right, I have achieved all that I have achieved … why am I not happy?” Because supposedly, you drive the ball into the end zone, you win the Superbowl, they hand you a trophy, and “Yay” you go to Disneyworld, and you’re done and you’re happy.

But what men are finding is, as soon as they reach that challenge and they succeed – well Jefferson put it best when he talked about our right to the pursuit of happiness. Nobody promised us happiness, it’s the pursuit, it’s the chase. That’s what makes a man happy. Not the achievement … the chasing.

Dr. Lori Buckley: OK so, you know that just brings us right to relationships. So when men are first getting into relationships, they’re chasing the woman or women, and there’s this conquering and it’s exciting. There’s seduction and there’s all of that that goes on. So is there something about relationships losing that appeal? Or losing that level of satisfaction when it is no longer a chase?

Stephen Perrine: I think definitely we feel that when the challenge is gone, we’re left with something that is unsatisfying, but I don’t think we’re able to articulate it or understand it. Why I have the great house and the great job and the beautiful wife and I love her and she’s great and the family’s beautiful – what’s missing, why do I feel that something’s missing? And I think it is because all of those things represent achievement, not challenge. And even though at the end of the day we want nothing more than to put our feet up and have a cold beer and relax – well what we really want is all this stuff that led up to us putting our feet up and breaking open the beer and relaxing. We want that challenge.

Dr. Lori Buckley: So when you talk about midlife crisis, is this the definition of midlife crisis? When you’ve achieved the things that you were striving for, that you were pursuing, that you thought would make you happy, and you realize “Oh shit!” [laughing] “What happened, I’m not happy, what’s going on?”

Stephen Perrine: Are we allowed to say “shit” on this?

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah this is uncensored.

Stephen Perrine: Well this is a whole new medium…

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: That’s cool, this is better than morning television any day. If there’s a definition of midlife crisis, for me it’s that moment when the world begins to feel like it is getting smaller instead of getting bigger. It’s when the achievements seem to be more behind us than ahead of us. And those are achievements in our careers, and in our relationships, and in our inner lives.

One of the things that I talk about in our November issue – on sale everywhere by the way – is the idea of how do you stave off the midlife crisis. We sent a writer to Tahiti to follow in the steps of Paul Gauguin because the quintessential idea of the man in the midlife crisis is either he goes out and buys a sports car and gets a young girlfriend…

Dr. Lori Buckley: Right.

Stephen Perrine: …or he goes to Tahiti to become a painter.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: So all right, let’s follow a guy who really went to Tahiti, become a painter, and find out what happened to him. And what we discovered was that Gauguin’s life was miserable. He was cranky, and he was very much longing to return to Paris and to have that stable life that he had left behind. So it’s intriguing to discover that when you go and follow that dream and you achieve it – wrong! That’s exactly what you don’t want to do to fight that midlife crisis, is go and achieve your dream.

Dr. Lori Buckley: And that also includes, besides the Tahiti trip, [laughing] it also includes the sports car and the young women?

Stephen Perrine: And the young woman.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah.

Stephen Perrine: The pursuit might be great, but what’s the old saying. “It’s not chasing women that kills men, it’s catching them.”

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: So it is not a matter of changing your life, it’s not a matter of chucking it all and doing something different. It’s a matter of constantly lining up the next challenge, the next goal, the next achievement. What are you going to do next? That’s, I think, the key to sort of cruising through the midlife crisis.

Dr. Lori Buckley: OK, this is great because you’re on to something here. I like it, it makes sense to me, and we’re going to talk about it further as soon as we take a quick break to support our sponsors, and we’ll be right back.

Announcer: Listen to “Expanded Love-making”, a weekly Internet audio program and podcast for men and women, on Personal Life Media. Get advanced techniques that expand your love-making bliss.

[break]

Dr. Lori Buckley: You’re listening to “On the Minds of Men”. This is your host Dr. Lori Buckley. I am sitting here with Steve Perrine, and we were talking about some great stuff and Steve is just about to tell us before the break how you can really avoid the midlife crisis, or maybe just how to manage it.

Stephen Perrine: I would say maybe dull its effects…

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: …you know, but we’re talking about the idea of setting up challenges, and continuing to chase the next dream, the next challenge, and why that is important for men. One of the things that has helped me quite a bit is that I travel a lot, and my wife and I, we usually plan out one or two adventures a year. This year for example we went to Sicily, and we said “OK we are going to climb a volcano, that’s what we’re going to do”. And we never actually got to climb a volcano but we found some really cool stuff in the mean time. We wound up finding an island off the coast of Italy where you could sit and watch Mount Stromboli erupt.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Wow.

Stephen Perrine: And we took a boat to go around and watch rocks spit out of the volcano and crash down into the water in front of us, and so that was pretty cool. But it was kind of a quest.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Right.

Stephen Perrine: So each one of our trips will have some kind of a quest.

Dr. Lori Buckley: And is the actual experience as wonderful as the planning and the pursuing of this quest?

Stephen Perrine: Well the key is not to plan too much.

Dr. Lori Buckley: OK.

Stephen Perrine: The key is to plan just enough that you have a general idea of where you’re going to stay, what you’re going to do if you can’t stay there. And that’s kind of it. Beyond that we try to improvise a bit and our best trips have been – our best adventures have been – things that we’ve just improvised. Our honeymoon trip was, part of it was taking a kayak tour of Halong Bay in Vietnam, which is one of the most romantic places in the world.

Dr. Lori Buckley: But not a typical honeymoon spot.

Stephen Perrine: Not a typical honeymoon spot and it became really atypical when a typhoon struck, and we found ourselves kayaking through 10 foot swells trying to reach land before we got sucked out into the South China Sea. And Vietnamese adventure tourism is not quite up to the standard safety levels that you would find in other parts of the world. So it was a little freaky there for a while.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah.

Stephen Perrine: But it was an adventure.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Well now that you can talk about it.

Stephen Perrine: Now that we can talk about it.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah now that it’s all over.

Stephen Perrine: But that’s part of it, and an adventure doesn’t necessarily have to be some kind of an exotic trip. It can be – all right here’s our challenge. Our challenge is to figure out a way to take our bank account from point A to point B. What does that mean? OK, well maybe it means saving here. Maybe it means extra work here. Maybe it means being really creative and coming up with strategies that are going to allow us to save better.

Or maybe the challenge is, I’m going to keep a journal for six months, and see what I come up with at the end of that.

Or maybe the challenge is, I’m going to learn a new skill. This year I’m going to learn how to rock climb. Next year I’m going to learn how to fly fish. The year after that I’m going to learn how to do an Eskimo roll on a kayak. And the year after that I’m going to learn how to throw a spiral for 30 yards.

Dr. Lori Buckley: OK, now I’m hearing two things here and I think they’re both equally important, and I think that’s what you’re saying. So if you’re in a relationship – of course we’re going to talk more about that – I want to talk about how this plays into keeping relationships interesting, so there’s no midlife crisis within the relationship. Because we know a lot of relationships can end at that time, even if the woman is the one who initiates it. I think there probably is some connection, some correlation between the midlife crisis.

So we’ve got that, and then we also have – OK, individually even if you are in a couple – to have your own interests, your own hobbies, your own adventures so to speak.

Stephen Perrine: Yeah you really want a kind of a duality, you want something that the two of you can share, and then you want something you can do for yourself. Now it’s very interesting when it comes to kids – that’s certainly a challenge that the two of you can share. A lot of couples after those first couple of years with children tend to struggle, and part of that is because children can sometimes make you feel like you are trapped, like the world is not growing for you. Because all of your energies are going into family time.

You know it can be very frightening and especially for men, the idea of fatherhood and family man can be very difficult because you do feel as though you are sacrificing the adventure of life for the stability of family. And while we see it as a goal, as a dream, once we have it we can find it stifling.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Well because then there’s some reality. I think the fantasy of it is much better than the reality sometimes. Sometimes I have to say that I can get into trouble, because I’m not saying that children aren’t as wonderful as we imagine them to be. I think in some ways we can not ever imagine how wonderful that can be, how it is to love somebody so much, and how much they can add to our lives.

But [laughing] by the same token there’s also – we have no idea how much energy it takes, and how time-consuming it is, and how it can strain our relationship, and how our lives so drastically change. And we’re just – we have no idea about that. We only think about the positive stuff, not all of that really realistic stuff. That we have no idea until we actually experience it.

Stephen Perrine: I think that on a day to day – one of the things that men are afraid of – men are really afraid of negative emotion. Men are afraid of feeling negative emotions, in a way that women aren’t necessarily. Men are afraid of feeling anger. Men are afraid of feeling frustration.

The reason we’re afraid of that is because, if you’re on a playground and you’re seven years old and you feel anger, you probably feel anger because you’re about to get into a fight. Or you feel frustration because you’re sort of failing at something. And so those feelings – intense feelings – make men uncomfortable. They’re afraid of experiencing them because they equate them with violence, they equate them with danger.

Dr. Lori Buckley: And they’re both really tied into survival.

Stephen Perrine: Absolutely.

Dr. Lori Buckley: On a deep level yeah.

Stephen Perrine: Absolutely. Not a lot of seven year old girls going knuckle to knuckle on the playground that much. So…

Dr. Lori Buckley: Although they can be brutal.

Stephen Perrine: Yes and that new Jodie Foster movie is pretty cool I understand.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: But when it comes to the playground and childhood, girls – anger is not a scary emotion, because they’re not taught that it’s scary, because they’re not hurt by it as much. They’re not getting into those physical confrontations. It’s one of the reasons why men like to do activities like fishing in a boat together, or sitting at a bar together. If you see two women going out for a drink they’ll sit at a table and they’ll sit across from each other and they’ll talk to each other and make eye contact like you and I are doing right now Lori.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Mmm-hmmm.

Stephen Perrine: If two men go out to a bar together they’ll sit side by side, and the reason is “If I’m a man, and you’re a man, and we’re looking at each other straight on and making eye contact, we’re probably having a confrontation”. That’s our kind of natural instinct.

Dr. Lori Buckley: If you’re heterosexual.

Stephen Perrine: If – who knows, I don’t know how that works.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] But I’m just wondering if there’s also – it either means one of two things. We’re in the middle of Manhattan, there’s no silence here, we have noises, and we’re just going to keep taping, it doesn’t matter.

Stephen Perrine: Right. Whenever I hear a siren I’m just glad they’re not coming for me.

Dr. Lori Buckley: There you go [laughing] That’s a good attitude. So I think it could be one of two things. It’s either confrontation or attraction, which both could be very scary.

Stephen Perrine: Right, and of course for men I can’t imagine that I’m, as a guy I’m attracted to other guy and so holding your gaze, and holding your gaze only because I’m confronting you. So that’s why men avoid those kind of straight on confrontations. It sets us up for an inability to have a straight on conversation with a woman, because we’re simply not used to communicating in that way. It frightens us.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Aha.

Stephen Perrine: So women are – it is something that women are comfortable with and men aren’t.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Good. I’m just thinking – the word passive-aggressive keeps [laughing] popping into my head.

Stephen Perrine: Why? How so? It’s two words by the way.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Because, well [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: Passive and aggressive.

Dr. Lori Buckley: He is the editor after all, yeah [laughing] you’re absolutely right. The idea that, if the man is afraid of confrontation, will avoid it at all cost. Isn’t it just easier to say “Oh yes dear, yes dear”. That anger goes somewhere and it sort of becomes this indirect hostility.

Stephen Perrine: I don’t know you decide.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] I don’t know. I think that’s true.

Stephen Perrine: Whatever you say Lori.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] He’s being passive-aggressive. It’s not happening yet, but I – just wait – it’ll happen, I don’t know, I think within the next few minutes we’re going to see it. So everybody listen for it.

Stephen Perrine: It’s absolutely true and certainly with my wife and I, I definitely drive her crazy with my unwillingness to make a decision. Part of it is also because men don’t like the idea of confrontation, we really are a little bit easier going in some of those realms, like “the blue one or the white one?” “Whatever.” We would much rather have the decision made for us than have to make a decision because we’d rather be in a lot of cases slightly dissatisfied than confronted with choice.

Dr. Lori Buckley: So let’s take that and bring it into the relationship because I think it’s all tied into what we’re talking about – men’s despair and happiness. And doesn’t that add to it? I agree that there are times when it is much easier and even better to just maybe be slightly dissatisfied.

Stephen Perrine: And you know, so we make, you know “Whatever, it’s, you know, blue one or white one, whatever I don’t care.”

Dr. Lori Buckley: Right.

Stephen Perrine: And then, we get the blue one. And then “the ottoman or the side table?” “You decide” And then we get the side table. Well over time…

Dr. Lori Buckley: Right [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: …a few years go by, and we’re a few years into the relationship, and we look around, and what we see is an entire room…

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] or home…

Stephen Perrine: …metaphorically…

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah.

Stephen Perrine: …full of compromises.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Right, right.

Stephen Perrine: Because we didn’t take those little confrontational moments and assert ourselves and say “this is what I truly want”.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Mmm-hmmm.

Stephen Perrine: It’s really hard for guys, we just simply are taught that confrontation is bad and dangerous and must be avoided.

Dr. Lori Buckley: And I think what I’m hearing you say is “well, not exactly”. How can men – and I’m going to actually go straight into sex right now because this is important [laughing] Look how am I getting from that to sex? Hear me out, you’ll see. The passive-aggressiveness might be coming up soon here so [laughing] listen carefully.

Stephen Perrine: Whatever you say Lori.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] Oh no I’m in trouble. OK, so men always doing what the woman wants, trying – not always, but for the most part – men know if they want to have sex that they need to seduce the woman. They need to make sure she’s relaxed. Now we’re telling men to wash dishes. [laughing] Now we’re telling men to help around the house. Men need to give women lots of time. They need lots of foreplay.

There’s all of these demands being put on men to make their women happy, and in some ways it’s not even a compromise. I think in some ways, does that mean that their own needs – well it seems that this is a means to an end, which is…

Stephen Perrine: Mmm-hmmm.

Dr. Lori Buckley: …their needs being met. Is it really working out that way? Is there a lot of resentment because I think there is. I mean it’s just what I see. I see a lot of men talking about that “Well wait a minute. What about me? If we only have sex when she wants to have sex, and if she wants to have sex it’s this whole big ordeal, and if I say something wrong or do something wrong forget it.” And how do men get those needs met?

Stephen Perrine: As a man you can’t always deny your feral nature, and I think it is absolutely important to do the dishes and help with the laundry and diaper the child and give lots of foreplay and ensure that there’s 800 thread count sheets on the bed and fluff the pillows, buy the chocolate and whatever else you may need to do. At the same time it’s also important to do something else which is – every once in a while – be aggressive. And that might mean simply walking up to the woman in your life and taking a handful of her hair in your hand and giving her a big hard kiss on the lips, and saying “I just want to remind you I have something I want to do later.”

Or something of that nature that is assertive but at the same time doesn’t necessarily push it, like you have to have sex now. What you’re saying is “I can be and want to be very masculine and very aggressive, and the motor is running. Let me know when you want me to step on the gas.”

Dr. Lori Buckley: And I can say as a woman I think that would work. I think it’s great. So maybe there’s a combination there, where men want to do these things to make their woman happy.

But is that OK, because in the end is he getting what he wants, from relationships, from sex?

Stephen Perrine: I think that depends on the man, it depends on the woman, it depends on the relationship…

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah.

Stephen Perrine: …and it depends on the time of life. Look, my wife and I have been married now three and a half years, and this is my second marriage. It’s her first. So there are times when we haven’t had sex in a week or so and she’s like “We haven’t had sex in a week or so” and I’m like “It’s normal.”

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: “Don’t worry about it, it’ll come back.”

Dr. Lori Buckley: Right.

Stephen Perrine: There’s times when it’s stressful and nobody’s really getting any action, and that’s OK. Because it’s cyclical – there are times when one person’s out of sync, or the other’s out of sync, and there’s other times when the weekend’s free, work’s going great, you’re feeling and looking good and all you want to do is spend the weekend between the sheets. And that will happen as well. It’s not always like your first few months of dating.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Right.

Stephen Perrine: But every once in a while it is like that.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah I agree. So to know that for the most part there are times when it’s wonderful and exciting and hot and there’s a lot of sex, and good sex, and there are times when … not so much. But I also think that what you said, that it depends on the relationship, there’s so many different variables that come into play there. And there are men though who do sacrifice, compromise, whatever the word may be [laughing] abandon their sexual desires.

And I don’t mean about just having sex – they might have sex, but what if they want more oral sex. Or they want whatever it may be. How do they get that, do they ask? Do they just ask? And why don’t they?

Stephen Perrine: You’re talking about men? How do men get that?

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] Yeah.

Stephen Perrine: How do men get more oral sex? Listen if I had the answer to that I would be a very wealthy man. I would just [xx]. Oral sex guy. How to get it. Two hundred dollars an hour.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] I don’t know. I guess that’s what I was asking, I don’t know, I just kind of went off on this thing and I don’t know where I was going with it.

Stephen Perrine: My parents are going to be so proud.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] Yeah I don’t know, I guess what I’m saying here is something’s missing. This is how we started, we’re back to square one, this whole circular thing. Right there’s something missing in men’s life, we know that they can travel and have goals. Common goals with their partner which I think is really great. Individual goals and things that they want to learn, we know that is a good thing and I’m just recapping things that you’ve said so far.

We also know that yes they do ideally want to make their partner happy because then they’re going to be more happy, and I do think that that’s true.

Stephen Perrine: Mmm-hmmm.

Dr. Lori Buckley: I mean this isn’t about just checking your balls at the door and abandoning all of your needs. It’s about getting your needs met in this other direction.

Stephen Perrine: I’m just imagining like a ball check. Ball check!

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: Sorry sir you have to check those balls.

Dr. Lori Buckley: I think I heard that line on – I think I heard that from “Desperate Housewives” I think it was on…

Stephen Perrine: Check your balls at the door?

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah it was a good line.

Stephen Perrine: [xx], I’m leaving the party, I get my balls, I pick up some other guy’s balls. I get home, they don’t fit. I’ve got to call him up, “I think I have your balls!” So that’s always difficult.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] Unless you might want to keep them.

Stephen Perrine: It’s very, it’s very, yeah.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah.

Stephen Perrine: So I try to keep them with me at all times.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] That’s good.

Stephen Perrine: It’s just easier really that way.

Dr. Lori Buckley: You definitely want to keep your balls on don’t you.

Stephen Perrine: Yeah.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Keep them. Good advice! Wise words of wisdom.

Stephen Perrine: Yeah I mean I think… No you shouldn’t be asking for sex, it’s not like a birthday present although it can be. But I mean if there is one key to helping guys just avoid difficulties in their life, it’s don’t forget your inner “cool dude”. Don’t forget the dude you were – 19, with your cool new denim jacket, and when you discovered Ice Cube or KRS-One for the first time, and you were driving a beat-up car but you were blasting your music and wearing your sunglasses and everything was groovy. Don’t let go of that.

Just because you are a responsible adult doesn’t mean that inside of you there isn’t a dangerous and irresponsible adult simmering and brewing, but don’t just take him out and run wild because that’s how you get into trouble.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Right.

Stephen Perrine: Let him simmer and let him be especially part of your relationship with your partner.

Dr. Lori Buckley: I like it, and you say you don’t have to go to Tahiti, and you don’t have to get the sports car and the young girl – it doesn’t work anyways. But to create these things and – what did you say – be your, remember your what? Your…

Stephen Perrine: Your “inner cool dude”?

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] Yeah. Remember your inner cool dude, it sounds so much better when you say it. But yeah, I like that. And so can you do that in the context of a relationship, and even though you’re a father, and even though you’re successful, and even though you’re a husband. I think so, and I think you’ve given us some great ideas on how to do that.

Stephen Perrine: I have a motto…

Dr. Lori Buckley: Mmm-hmmm.

Stephen Perrine: …for when I get dressed to leave the house. I look in the mirror and I ask myself “Would Keith Richards wear that?”

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: And if the answer is “No”, like if I’m wearing shorts and white socks and sandals, I may need to reconsider my approach. And that’s part of it – don’t compromise, don’t think that you have to join the beer-belly club. Don’t think you have to join the “super-pleated pants pulled up to your nipples” club.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] Right.

Stephen Perrine: It’s fine to put the emphasis on feeling good and looking good and being happy with yourself as an individual.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah I agree with you. And the sense of adventure can be – you don’t have to be alone, you don’t have to be traveling, it’s something that is internal. Like your “internal cool dude”. So your sense of adventure can also be – it’s something internal, it’s something about who you are. Not what you do so much, although that plays into it, but really who you are and the attitude that you have. And you definitely have that attitude, it’s clear.

Stephen Perrine: Thank you, I’m wearing Keith Richards’ costume right now, crazy long shaggy hair, head-band…

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] That’s not true.

Stephen Perrine: You know, heroin addiction, it’s going great for me.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah right. I would say that what you’re wearing right now, I don’t think Keith Richards would wear, but you look hot. You do yeah, Steve is a very handsome man, he’s got a tie on and he’s got – you should see his shoes.

Stephen Perrine: He’s got nice shoes.

Dr. Lori Buckley: He’s put together well, yeah.

Stephen Perrine: We put a story in Best Life earlier this year called “Why is Keith Richards still alive?” And it was…

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] Did you think of that?

Stephen Perrine: Yes, yes, it’s been a pressing question for me for years. All right, let’s investigate, and we sent our writers out to figure it out. And they took sort of a mythical journey…

Dr. Lori Buckley: Mmm-hmmm.

Stephen Perrine: …to Tahiti – ironically back to that. But you remember last year, Keith Richards got bumped on the head with a coconut?

Dr. Lori Buckley: No?

Stephen Perrine: He was in – I believe – Tahiti or New Zealand or somewhere like that.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Probably Tahiti.

Stephen Perrine: And got bonked in the head with a coconut, and original reports was that he was really very very badly injured. And no, he’s impervious to injury.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing]

Stephen Perrine: He can’t be killed, why is that? And we did a bunch of research and we came up with this. Well, he used a lot of drugs, but he generally avoided the really killer drugs like cocaine and he went through a lot of tough times, but on the other hand he’s also been married for almost 30 years to the same woman. And so he’s been through a lot of queer ups and downs, but he’s been with the same group, the same band, since the mid 60s.

Well the reason Keith Richards is still alive is because he’s happy, and that’s the magic. He may seem to have a destructive lifestyle but not really because he’s just happy. And every day he’s probably getting up and going “I’m Keith Richards me, and I’m happy about that”, so…

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah, I would imagine there’s some of our listeners are thinking “well if I were Keith Richards, I’d be happy too”

Stephen Perrine: Right, but you know what, you can get up every day and go “all right today I’m going to be happy”

Dr. Lori Buckley: “I’m Steve Perrine”.

Stephen Perrine: Damn it! And you know what, you are Lori.

Dr. Lori Buckley: [laughing] I’m happy.

Stephen Perrine: Mmm-hmmm.

Dr. Lori Buckley: But yeah I think a lot of it is, it’s the “inner cool dude”, it’s your attitude, it’s how you look at things, it’s how you approach things. And I think if you think of yourself – I like it, I’m going off on this thing – if you can think of yourself as this cool dude, and somebody who loves life, and just think of yourself as somebody who’s happy, “what would a happy cool dude person do?” I think that right there is the first step.

Stephen Perrine: And the genius thing about having wives and children is that they will prevent you from getting too cool, because they will continue to put you in your place.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yes. And sometimes we need a little bit of that, otherwise you would end up in Tahiti.

Stephen Perrine: Exactly. A little bit [xx] check.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah, yeah, so it’s good. So I think you’ve given our listeners some great tips and some great advice about how to, well let’s make life a little bit better. Live your best life, and that is definitely something I think all of our listeners want to do, and when you do go through these stages in life – we can call it midlife – or times when you’re wondering “OK what now, is that all there is?” – to think about some of these things, and I think that that can really be helpful, and that can be helpful in your relationship, it can be helpful in bed.

So things to think about, and I just think it’s great great advice. Now Steve, if somebody wants to get a copy of your magazine or subscription, because it is a great magazine.

Stephen Perrine: Best Life is really all about maximizing your physical, mental, emotional and financial health, and sexual health. So obviously at newsstands everywhere, particularly Borders or Barnes and Noble. Or go to bestlifeonline.com, where you can get a good sample of what we’re all about.

Dr. Lori Buckley: And it is just a fabulous magazine and I’m proud to be part of it, and I’m just thrilled that you were here to talk with me today because it was really fun. Nice talking to you.

Stephen Perrine: Thank you Lori, and I’ll see you down at the ball-check.

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